Heritage: The Institute of Language and Culture Studies (ILCS) presented the outcome of its first phase of “The Bhutan Culture Atlas” yesterday in a workshop held at the Royal University of Bhutan.

The project, which began from Bumthang around five years ago, has also covered Trongsa. In its next phase the culture mapping would be shifted to Zhemgang.

“Zhemgang is full of potential. Much of it still unexplored,” ILCS adjunct professor and director of research of CNRS, Francoise Pommaret (PhD) said.

‘The Bhutan culture atlas aims at documenting tangible and intangible heritage across dzongkhags to help preserve culture. The project also aims in providing informed database for policy makers, the department of culture, institutions, tourism, national and international audiences.

“The culture mapping is a modest attempt towards ensuring the fulfillment of one of the aspirations of Gross National Happiness as its realisation lies in the honest unwavering pursuit of every Bhutanese and institution indiscriminate of big or small,” ILCS director, Lungtaen Gyatso said.

Five years after the project, the institute organised a workshop yesterday at Royal University of Bhutan to basically share the experience of the initial leg of its journey. Till now ILCS has documented numerous local festivals, lhakhangs, monuments, museums and dzongs.

In Bumthang, the culture mapping has covered the Tharpaling and Kunzangdra goenpas, and the Sumthrang and Kurje lhakhangs. It has also documented local festivals like Prakar Durchoe.

It has also documented Trongsa dzong, Taa dzong and Yundrucholing palace in Trongsa, among other monuments. The project has also studied pottery in Langthel.